In a surprise move, Foothill Transit’s board voted to take over two heavily-used bus routes within the heart of the San Gabriel Valley operated for decades by the much larger Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The move could free up bus drivers from MTA, known as Metro, to become train operators on two Metro light-rail lines set to open nearly simultaneously sometime in 2016, sources said.
Metro Executive Officer of Service Development Jon Hillmer said shedding two bus lines would save Metro money and could help the agency fill sorely needed train operator positions for the Expo Line Phase 2 from Culver City to Santa Monica, and the Foothill Gold Line Extension from east Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border.
The West Covina-based Foothill Transit has its eye on two lines, Line 190 and Line 194, which together carry 7,600 boarding passengers every weekday and 2,800 to 4,000 every Saturday and Sunday.
Both Metro bus lines begin at the El Monte Bus Station, operated by Metro, and carry passengers east to Cal Poly Pomona. Line 190 runs north of the 10 Freeway along Ramona Boulevard, San Bernardino Road and Badillo Street through El Monte, Baldwin Park, West Covina. Covina and Walnut. Line 194 runs south of the 10, primarily along Valley Boulevard through El Monte, Industry, La Puente and Walnut.
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